My family was never really the type to say "I love you."
And, I'm fine with that. I know they love me. We spent time together, did nice things for each other, celebrated each other's accomplishments and birthdays, laughed a lot together, etc. We didn't need to say "I love you" out loud all the time. I actually think it would be very uncomfortable if we suddenly started verbalizing it.
We also weren't the hugging type.
Some families are much more physically affectionate than mine. I remember knowing a particular pair of siblings in high school (a boy and a girl) who were constantly engaged in back scratching, minor cuddling, throwing an arm around the shoulders, etc. Nothing wrong with it, just definitely different than my family so it always threw me off a little.
You know, I've never really been down with the whole love language theory, because I usually feel like I'm a little bit of everything. I don't always verbalize my feelings well, but I write them rather well (no surprise there). And, I do like hearing nice things from other people. I'm not really the hugging type when it comes to friends or casual acquaintances (I actually don't like it when random people expect me to hug them all the time), but I hate-hate-hate lack of physical affection in a dating relationship.
If a boy doesn't hold my hand or sit close to me and we are dating, I innately feel like we are fighting. But I've never been the type to cuddle with a female friend during a movie, even though I know some girls are more comfortable with that. In a nutshell, I guess I shy away from physical affection in non-romantic relationships but need-need-need it in my romantic relationships.
I know there are theories about this.
I majored in Marriage, Family & Human Development in school. Relationships fascinate me. Family units fascinate me. And I know that most of the theories I learned tell me that the way my family of origin expressed love should be directly impacting the way I give and feel love in my dating relationships. Some theories say I'll naturally want the same type of affection from a significant other that I am used to from my family, while others predict I'll seek out in dating relationships anything I feel like my family of origin didn't provide me. Shrug?
Even with all that schooling, it's hard to put my own feelings and tendencies in a box and label them. I just know I inherently gravitate toward what I need and away from what I don't, and I usually figure that out along the way as new relationships ebb and flow. My biggest love language is probably expressed in this blog post, about treating each other's important things like they are important.
What about YOU?
How did your family of origin show their affection? Do you notice that you gravitate toward more of the same in your romantic relationships, or do you seek out something completely opposite and different?